Green Tomato Chutney

Andhra cuisine is well known for its variety of chutneys and pickles. Raw tomato chutney is one such quick chutney made with a handful of ingredients and goes very well with rice, roti and dosa. It is quite surprising to know that green tomatoes are healthier and better than red ripe tomatoes. They are rich in anti-oxidants, vitamin-A, B,C and  iron. I think I am going to use them more often from now on 🙂 🙂

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Ingredients:

Green Tomato – 3 No’s  (chopped into big chunks)

Green chilli – 2 No’s

Red chilli – 2 No’s

Tamarind – 1 tsp

Mustard seeds – 1/2 tsp

Jeera – 1/2 tsp

Urad Dal – 1/2 tsp

Chana Dal – 1/2 tsp

Sesame seeds – 1/2 tbsp

Methi seeds – 4-5 grains

Oil – 2 tbsp

Turmeric – 1/2 tsp

Salt – 1  1/2 tsp

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Seasoning:

Oil – 1 tbsp

Mustard Seeds – 1/4 tsp

Urad dal – 1/4 tsp

Chana dal – 1/4 tsp

Hing – pinch

Method:

1. Heat 2 tbsp oil in a pan. Add mustard seeds, jeera, chana dal, urad dal, sesame seeds, red chilli, green chillies and fry for a minute.

2. Next add the tomatoes, tamarind, turmeric, salt and mix. Cover and cook for 10 mins till the tomatoes become soft.

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3. Remove the lid and cook for another 3-4 mins till all the moisture evaporates.

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4. Once it cools,  grind it into a  smooth paste and transfer the chutney into a bowl.

5. For the seasoning, add 1 tbsp oil in a pan and all the seasoning ingredients. Once the dals turn slightly brown, pour the seasoning on the chutney and mix well.

6. Serve with hot rice, roti or dosa.

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Beerakaya Thokku Pachadi/ Ridge-gourd skin chutney

Preparation time: 10 mins

Cooking time: 15 mins

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Ridge gourd known as Beerakaya (telugu) or Turai (hindi) or Luffa (in other countries) is a dark green vegetable which is ridged on outside with white fibrous pulp inside. Ridge gourd contains abundant dietary fiber, vitamin C, riboflavin, zinc, thiamine, iron, magnesium and manganese.

It is highly recommended by health experts and doctors for its medicinal properties. Ridge-gourd is good for stomach and effective in reducing constipation, purifies blood, cures jaundice, beneficial for diabetics due to the existence of insulin,  aids weight loss due to its low saturated fat content, possesses anti-inflammatory and anti-biotic properties, strengthens  immune system, excellent for skin care  and is utilized in making loofah sponge which is used as a body scrub.

Ridge-gourd is abundantly used in Indian cooking for making curry, dal or sambhar. We usually peel off the skin and use only the inner parts of the vegetables while cooking. In the case of ridge gourd, the maximum amount of nutrients are present in its skin. Once you taste this yummy chutney I am sure you will never throw away the skin again.

So here’s how we use the rough ridgy skin and make a delicious chutney which is best eaten by mixing with steamed rice and with a dollop of ghee on top….slurrrppp !!

Ingredients:

Ridge-gourd peel – 1 cup

Tomato – 1 small

Green chilli – 1 or 2 (as per taste)

Mustard seeds – 1/2 tsp

Jeera – 1/2 tsp

Methi – 4-5 seeds

Urad Dal – 1 tsp

Chana dal – 1 tsp

Sesame seeds – 1 1/2 tbsp

Dry Red chilli –  2

Tamarind – 1/2 tsp

Turmeric – pinch

Salt – 1 1/2 tsp

Oil – 2 tbsp

For seasoning:

Oil – 1 tbsp

Mustard seeds – 1/2 tsp

Urad dal – 1/4 tsp

Hing – pinch

Curry leaves – 1 sprig

Method:

1. Peel the skin, wash and cut into 1 inch pieces. Chop tomato into cubes.

(Tip: Separate and discard the stringy hard edges of the peel, if any)

2. Heat oil  in a pan. Add mustard seeds, jeera, methi, urad dal, chana dal and fry till dals turn slightly  brown. Next add dry red chilli, sesame seeds and fry for another minute. Drain the oil and transfer the mixture onto a plate.

3. In the same oil, add tomato, green chilli, ridge-gourd peels, salt, turmeric and mix well. Cook under cover till the peels become soft. Turn off the heat and let it cool down.

5. Transfer the dals mixture into a grinder. Add dhania powder, tamarind and grind into a coarse powder. Next transfer the cooked vegetables into the same grinder, add little water if required and grind till it becomes a coarse paste. Transfer the chutney into a bowl.

6. For the seasoning, heat 1 tbsp oil in a pan, add all seasoning ingredients in the given sequence. Once the dal turns slightly brown, pour on this on the chutney and mix well.

7. Serve as a side with rice or rotis or dosas.

Brinjal Raita/ Eggplant Raita (Vankaya Perugu pachadi)

Preparation time: 5 mins

Cooking time: 15 mins

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This is a quick dish which goes well with Parathas. The roasted flavour of brinjal/eggplant mixed with spiced-up curd gives a fresh distinct taste that everybody will fall in love with. This dish is found to help in boosting fertility and is recommended by health experts. Without further ado, lets see how to create it !!

Ingredients:

Eggplant/ Brinjal – 1 big

Curd/ Yogurt – 2 cups

Cumin powder – 1/2 tsp

Turmeric – 1/4 tsp

Ginger – 1 inch (grated)

Salt – 1  1/2 tsp

Coriander – for garnishing

Seasoning:

“Oil – 1 Tbsp

Mustard seeds – 1/2 tsp

Jeera – 1/2 tsp

Urad Dal – 1/2 tsp

Chana Dal – 1/2 tsp

Methi seeds – 1/4th tsp

Green chilli – 2-3 N0’s (chopped)

Hing – 1 sprinkle

Method:

1. Place the eggplant/brinjal on a stove burner and roast directly on medium flame.

2. Keep rotating the brinjal and ensure all sides are uniformly roasted till the brinjal becomes soft and the skin turns black.

3. Place the brinjal in a plate and let it cool.

4. Once the brinjal cools, peel the burnt skin and transfer into a bowl.

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5. Mash the brinjal into small pieces with a knife or fork. Add curd, and all the other ingredients and mix well.

6. In a small kadai, add the seasoning ingredients in the given sequence and pour into the bowl. Garnish with coriander.

6. Serve with Roti/Paratha or steamed rice.

Dosakaya Pachadi/ Yellow Cucumber Chutney

Cooking time: 20 mins

Yellow cucumber

Health Benefits:

Dosakaya/Budamkaya/ Yellow Cucumber is from the same family as squash and musk-melon.  It is a nutritional low calorie vegetable with about 85% water content. Health experts highly recommend cucumber as it aids digestion, eliminates toxins from the body and  carries numerous health benefits. Cucumber is an excellent source of potassium, calcium, protein, vitamin C, vitamin K, fiber and anti-oxidants. The skin of cucumber contains minerals like  silica, potassium and magnesium which help in improving health of the skin and hair texture. The unique sweet and tangy taste of cucumber makes it one of the sought after vegetable for making dal and chutneys.

Here’s a simple quick chutney with yellow cucumber which can be served with rice or roti or dosa. Hope you like it !!

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Ingredients:

Dosakaya (Malabar Cucumber) – 1/2

Chilli powder – 1 tsbp

Turmeric – pinch

Tamarind pulp- 1 tsp

Methi (fenugreek)  powder – 1/2 tsp

Mustard powder – 1/2 tsp

Salt – 1 tbsp

Garnishing:

Oil – 2 Tbsp

Mustard seeds – 1/2 tsp

Jeera – 1/2 tsp

Urad dal – 1/2 tsp

Dried Red Chillies – 1 or 2

Curry leaves – 1 spring

Hing: 1 sprinkle

Method:

1. Peel the cucumber, cut it into half and remove the seeds. Check for the taste, discard if it is very bitter.

2. Chop into 1/2 inch small pieces and transfer into a bowl.

3. Add all the ingredients (salt, turmeric, chilli powder,  tamarind paste, mustard powder, methi powder) mix well and set aside for 20 mins.

4. Heat oil in a pan and add all the garnishing ingredients in the give sequence. Pour on the chutney and mix well.

5. Serve with steamed rice or rotis.

 

Easy Tomato Pickle (Tomato Thokku/ Tomato Pachadi)

The thought of tomato pickle itself makes my mouth water!!!   In my family, we fondly refer to Tomato pickle as KING as is the favorite of all of us. This is a very simple quick recipe, requires very few ingredients and even an amateur cook can make it in no time. You can store tomato pickle without refrigeration for 10 days and with refrigeration for 1 month.

(Most of my dishes are without garlic and onion. You can use them in the preparation as per your taste)

Preparation time:  5 mins

Cooking time: 45 mins

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Ingredients:

Tomatoes – 10 ripe (chopped )

Salt – 1 ½  Tbsp

Turmeric – 1 Tsp

Mustard powder – 1 ½  Tsp

Methi powder – 1 ½ Tsp

Dhania powder – 1 ½ Tsp

Chilli powder – 2-3 Tbsp (increase as per your taste)

Oil – 3 Tbsp

Seasoning:

Oil – 1 Tbsp

Mustard seeds – 1 tsp

Hing – ½  tsp

Method:

1. In a pan, heat 3-4 Tbsp of oil. Next, add the tomatoes, salt and turmeric and mix well.

2. Put a lid and cook the tomatoes on medium heat for about 15 mins. Cook under cover till tomatoes release all the moisture and become soft and mushy.

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3. Now, remove the lid and turn the flame to low. Now, add dhania powder, mustard powder, chilli powder and mix well. Cook until all the moisture evaporates and it thickens. There should not be any trace of moisture and cook till you see the oil separate out. This takes about 25-30 mins.

4. Adjust salt and chilli powder as per you taste. Turn off the stove.

5. In a small pan, heat 1 Tbsp oil, mustard seeds and hing. Transfer onto the pickle and mix.

6. Once the pickle cools down, transfer into an air tight container and store.

7. Serve with rice, idly, dosa, roti or paratha.

 

Cooking Tips:

1. Make sure the pickle does not come in contact with any moisture. If the container is wet inside, pat dry, place in sun or under fan for some time. Once it is completely dry, transfer the pickle.

2. More the oil, more is the life of the pickle. After few days of storing, if the pickle dries up, add the seasoning once again (without the mustard seeds).

Chayote Peel Chutney (Seema Vanakaya thokku pachadi)

Preparation time: 10 mins

Cooking time: 15 mins

Chayote chutney

Vegetable peels are found to have equal nutrition as the vegetable itself. Vegetable peels are rich in fiber and promote better intestinal health.  Also, the antioxidants in the peel fight against aging and keep you young. So next time before you peel off and discard the skin of fresh green vegetables, give it another thought.  If you are worried about the chemical/ pesticide residue on the vegetables, put the vegetables in warm water with salt for about 30 mins before using them or you can always go with the organic produce.

I have used peel of Chayote (English)/ Chow chow (Hindi)/ Seema vankaya/Nethi beerayaka (Telugu)/ Seeme badanekayi (Kannada) to make this chutney.

Alternatively, you can use the peel of Bottle-guard (dudhi/sora kayi/anapakaya), or Ridge-guard (beera kaya/heere kayi). Choose vegetables with comparatively smoother surfaces for easier cooking.

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Ingredients:

Vegetable peels (finely chopped) – 1 cup (loosely packed)

Peanuts – 2 Tbsp.

Urad Dal – 1 Tbsp.

Cumin/Jeera powder – ½ Tsp.

Coriander/Dhania powder – ½ Tsp.

Green chillies – 2 small

Mustard powder – pinch (optional)

Tamarind – 1 Tsp.

Jaggery – ½ Tsp.

Salt – 1 Tsp

Turmeric – pinch

Oil – 1 Tsp.

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Seasoning:

Oil – 1 Tsp.

Mustard seeds – ½ tsp

Hing – 1 sprinkle

Curry Leaves – 1 sprig

Method:

1. In a kadai/skillet, add 2-3 drops of oil and roast peanuts and urad dal. Once they turn little brown, remove and transfer on a plate to cool.

2. Now add ½ Tsp. oil and add whole green chillies. Put a lid as the oil would splash around. Make sure the color changes to slightly lighter green on both the sides. Transfer onto the plate.

3. Add the vegetable peel, salt and sprinkle some water. Put a lid and cook till the peel becomes tender.

4. Once everything cools down, transfer into a grinder, add rest of the ingredients (tamarind, jeera powder, dhania powder, jaggery, turmeric) and grind into a smooth paste by adding little water. Transfer the chutney into a bowl.

5. For the seasoning, in a kadai/skillet, add all the Seasoning ingredients in sequence and pour it on the chutney.

6. Serve with hot rice and ghee, or as a dip for idli, dosa, roti, bajji, or bonda. You can also add a spoon of thick curd (yogurt) and serve.

Cooking Tips:

1. If the chutney is too spicy, add 1 spoon of putlana podi/ roasted chickpea powder.

Flax Seeds Horsegram Chutney Podi/ Chutney Powder (with curry leaves)

Preparation time: 10 mins

Cooking time: 20 mins

NP-flaxseedHealth benefits of Flax seeds: Although flaxseed is being used from ancient times in India, it has recently gained recognition all over the world. It is being used in all kinds of foods, from crackers to energy-bars to oatmeal. Though flaxseed contains all sorts of healthy components and it owes its healthy reputation primarily to three ingredients: Omega-3 essential fatty acids, (“good fats” which are very hard to find in vegetarian foods) Lignans, (which lower risk of breast cancer and also act as antioxidants) and Fiber. The presence of Lignans helps in female hormonal balance also making it one of the best fertility super-foods.

Flaxseed can be used whole, ground, or in oil forms. However, the benefits of flax seeds are only released when the seeds are ground. The recommended daily amount of flaxseed is approximately 1-2 tablespoons of ground flaxseed. Flaxseed can be consumed by sprinkling over oatmeal or a salad, or blending into a smoothie.

800px-A_horse_gramHealth benefits of Horsegram: Known as Uluvalu (Telugu), Kollu (Tamil)    Kulti/Kulatha (Hindi) is known to have many therapeutic effects and is used in Ayurveda  medicine for  treating many conditions.  Horse Gram is a class of food which is highly nutritious and considered as a food from the balanced diet category.
It is rich in iron, calcium molybdenum, polyphenols which have high antioxidant capacity, and hemagluttinin which is a substance found in antibodies and autoimmune functions. Horse gram is considered to have curative properties in helping with kidney stones, menstruation problems, weight reduction, regulating blood pressure, lowering cholesterol, stomach pain and sore throat.

Horsegram can be consumed in the form of soup, sprouts, or cooked like any other lentil. It should not be eaten by pregnant women as it would reduce milk production.

I have found chutney podi/ chutney powder to be the best way to include these two super foods in regular diet. This powder goes well with idli, dosa, or upma or cab be used as salad seasoning . You also can mix 2 spoons of the powder with oil/ghee/thick curd and serve with roti/rice/dosa

Ingredients:

Flax Seeds – 1 cup

Horse Gram – 1 cup

Peanuts – 1/2 cup

Sesame Seeds – 1/4 cup

Urad Dal – 1/2 cup

Jeera/Cumin Seeds – 2 Tbsp.

Dry Red Chillies – 15 No’s

Curry Leaves – 1 cup

Tamarind – 2 Tsp.

Sugar – 2 Tbsp.

Salt – 2 Tsp.

Hing – 1/4 Tsp.

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Method:

1. In a kadai, add 2 drops of oil and dry roast peanuts on low flame till the skin turns dark brown and then remove on to a plate.

2. Now add urad dal and horse gram and roast by constantly stirring till the grams turn slightly brown. Remove on to a plate.

3. Next roast jeera, flax seeds and sesame seeds together.  If the seeds start to jump, cover the kadai with a lid and keep stirring in between. Roast till the seeds sesame seeds turn slightly brown and remove onto a plate for cooling.

4.  Roast dry red chillies and curry leaves separately for about 1 minute each.

5.  Grind all the roasted ingredients along with tamarind, sugar, salt and hing to a powder.

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6. Let the powder cool. Transfer into an air tight container.

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7. Serve with rice, rotis, idli, dosa or upma.

Do let me know if you like it !!